Show owners were protesting against MCG for its policy for rehabilitation of street vendors.
Gurgaon had a small-scale mutiny on its hands today. Shops in various Huda markets across the city remained closed, with support from residents. The reason? MCG’s new policy for street vendors.
Following guidelines by the Supreme Court in 2014, MCG is attempting to rehabilitate unauthorised street vendors who create chaos around populated areas and marketplaces. MCG is even offering vendors smartly designed carts which they can buy on instalment.
Angered by this approach, shop owners demanded the removal of the newly set-up carts provided to vendors by MCG, and kept their shops closed in protest.
The protest was most strongly felt in the markets of sectors 4, 7, 14, 31 and 56. Only vegetable, grocery and chemist shops were kept open for residents’ convenience.
“Our aim was to send a clear message to the district administration that we would not accept encroachments in or around our markets by street vendors,” said Dinesh Sharma, president of the market welfare association of Sector 14. He added that the market would remain close even on Wednesday.
However, the market of Sector 31 was not so considerate towards residents. Even daily needs and vegetable shops were closed today.
Shakuntla, an elderly resident of the sector, said, “Even Mother Dairy was closed. We did not know of this protest by shop owners. It was only after we saw all shops closed in the market and asked shop owners that we got to know they were protesting against MCG.”
Shashikant Sharma, president of the market welfare association of Sector 7, said, “Our intention was to only send a message to the administration that we were unhappy with the way it was executing this street vendor policy. We are not against street vendors; we just them allocated a space away from the market.”
MCG commissioner V Umashankar said, “MCG is only implementing the Supreme Court’s policy. The matter is in the Punjab and Haryana High Court now. I cannot say anything beyond that.”